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Lantern Theater Company to Close 30th Anniversary Season with William Shakespeare's "The Comedy of Errors"

originally published: 04/18/2024

Lantern Theater Company to Close 30th Anniversary Season with William Shakespeare

(PHILADELPHIA, PA) -- Lantern Theater Company will close its 30th anniversary season with The Comedy of Errors, part of the company's ongoing commitment to produce the timeless stories of William Shakespeare for both the general public and local school students. Lantern Artistic Director Charles McMahon directs an ensemble cast of Lantern veterans, including Morgan Charéce Hall, J Hernandez, Dave Johnson, Brian McCann, Lee Minora, Kishia Nixon, Matteo Scammell, and Zach Valdez. The Comedy of Errors runs Thursday, May 16 through Sunday, June 16, 2024, at St. Stephen's Theater in Center City Philadelphia.

William Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors is a farcical romp about mistaken identities, reunited families, love lost and won, and the differences between nature and nurture. In Ephesus, Antipholus and Dromio – a man and his servant from Syracuse – search for their respective twins, from whom they were separated by a shipwreck years earlier. Meanwhile, Antipholus’ father arrives to conduct his own search and is promptly arrested, as Syracusans are unwelcome in Ephesus. To evade capture themselves, Antipholus and Dromio don local disguises, and hilarious hijinks ensue as we learn that the missing twins are indeed living in Ephesus and using the same names as their long-lost brothers. Romantic entanglements, legal disputes, money trouble, and mistaken identities spiral out of control as the twins are unwittingly drawn into each other’s lives before one final hilarious twist reunites the family. The Comedy of Errors is a sparklingly comic confection, employing slapstick, clowning, and delicious irony alongside Shakespeare’s timeless poetry and wordplay to tell a madcap tale of identity, reunion, and learning (through force, if necessary) to be a better version of oneself.

“One of Shakespeare’s earliest plays, The Comedy of Errors is the bold and confident work of a writer who already has mastered his craft,” said Lantern Artistic Director Charles McMahon. “Taking as his source material a classical Roman play by the much-admired Plautus, Shakespeare hurls down the gauntlet before Thomas Greene and other snobbish university educated playwrights that held him in disdain. Freely adapting Plautus’ story of twins separated at birth, Shakespeare adds a second set of twins, multiplying the possibilities for errors and mistaken identities, and making the plot infinitely more complicated as it barrels headlong to a conclusion that only a miracle could sort out. For daring narrative and sheer comic exuberance, none of the university set could come close.”

Lantern Theater Company will delve into The Comedy of Errors on its Lantern Searchlight blog, available online at Articles will be published throughout the production’s run, exploring the evolution of Shakespeare’s comedies, Shakespeare’s siblings and shipwrecks and other plot devices, and the history of commedia dell’arte, as well as behind the scenes conversations with the artists and more.

Tickets for The Comedy of Errors are $28 – $45 and are available online at or by calling the Lantern Box Office at (215) 829-0395. Discounts are available for theatergoers under age 30, seniors 65 and up, U.S. military personnel, and groups of 10 or more. Performances of The Comedy of Errors will take place at St. Stephen’s Theater, located at 923 Ludlow Street in Center City Philadelphia. Face masks are welcome, but not required.

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About the Lantern Artists

The Comedy of Errors director Charles McMahon co-founded Lantern Theater Company in 1994 and serves as artistic director in addition to directing, writing, and acting for the company. McMahon has directed all but one of the Lantern’s annual Shakespeare productions, including recent productions of Twelfth NightOthelloMeasure for MeasureThe Tempest, and Coriolanus. Other Lantern directing credits include TartuffeTravestiesThe Plague; The Resistible Rise of Arturo UiAs You Like ItHenry VNew Jerusalem, The Interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza at Talmud Torah Congregation: Amsterdam, July 27, 1656Romeo and JulietA Midsummer Night’s DreamHamletLa Ronde (also translator and adapter); Richard IIIMuch Ado About NothingKing LearThe House of Bernarda Alba; and A Doll’s House. His acting credits include Heisenberg in the Lantern’s production of Copenhagen, and his writing credits include Oscar Wilde: From the Depths and co-creating an original adaptation of Dylan Thomas’ A Child’s Christmas in Wales.

The ensemble cast of The Comedy of Errors includes Morgan Charéce Hall as Luciana (Lantern credits include Crumbs from the Table of JoyTartuffeThe RoyaleTravesties, Juliet in the current cast of the Lantern’s annual education production of Romeo and Juliet), J Hernandez as Dromio of Syracuse (Twelfth NightThe PlagueThe Tempest, Friar Lawrence in the Lantern’s annual education production of Romeo and Juliet), Dave Johnson as Antipholus of Syracuse (TartuffeTravestiesThe Tempest, many others), Brian McCann as Aegeon/Angelo/Pinch (Twelfth NightThe Gospel According To…, Lord Capulet in the Lantern’s annual education production of Romeo and Juliet), Lee Minora as Aemilia (TartuffeTwelfth NightTravestiesThe Last Match), Kishia Nixon as Adriana (Fabulation, or The Re-Education of Undine), Matteo Scammell as Antipholus of Ephesus (The Last Match), and Zach Valdez as Dromio of Ephesus (Fabulation, or The Re-Education of Undine).

The creative team for The Comedy of Errors includes scenic designer James F. Pyne, Jr. (Lantern credits include Twelfth NightA Man for All SeasonsMe and the DevilThe Plague), costume designer Kelly Myers (TartuffeThe Lifespan of a FactA Man for All Seasons), lighting designer Shon Causer (The PlagueMe and the DevilThe Gospel According To…), sound designer Christopher Colucci (41st Lantern production, including Charles Dickens’ A Christmas CarolFaith HealerTartuffe, and Twelfth Night), and movement consultant Eli Lynn (Lantern debut). Actor Dave Johnson will serve as associate director and Lantern 2023/24 Season Education & Artistic Fellow Talia Speak will serve as assistant director, alongside longtime Lantern Stage Manager Rebecca Smith.

Founded in 1994 and celebrating its 30th anniversary during the 2023/24 season, the mission of Lantern Theater Company is to produce plays that investigate and illuminate what is essential in the human spirit and the spirit of the times. The Lantern serves the Greater Philadelphia region with award-winning productions and education programming, notably partnering with middle schools and high schools in the Philadelphia School District to provide in-classroom residencies in support of curricular learning. The Lantern became a national leader in streaming theater during the Covid health crisis, producing ten fully designed plays that were created and filmed in the company’s resident home at St. Stephen’s Theater, garnering coverage in national media including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and reaching more than 30,000 people in 15 countries and all 50 states.

Following The Comedy of Errors, Lantern Theater Company’s previously announced 2024/25 season will include four extraordinary plays from some of the world’s best playwrights, past and present: The Wanderers, a funny, moving, and thoughtful drama by Anna Ziegler, directed by Jesse Bernstein; American Moor, a poetic exploration of Shakespeare, race, and America by Keith Hamilton Cobb, directed by Kash Goins ; William Shakespeare’s classic romantic comedy Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Lantern Artistic Director Charles McMahon; and The 39 Steps, Patrick Barlow’s rollicking adaptation of the classic John Buchan adventure novel and Alfred Hitchcock film, also directed by McMahon.

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